By Owen Morgan
Run Wales – Welsh Athletics’ social running programme – is looking to inspire even more people to join in the running revolution sweeping the nation.
More than 350,000 people – 18 per cent of Wales’ adult population – used running for their daily exercise during the 2020 lockdowns.
With gyms closed once again and running clubs not able to exercise together, Run Wales is looking for first-time joggers, power walkers and race finishers to join their new campaign – From My Door.
James Williams, chief executive officer of Welsh Athletics, said: “Over the last year, our homes have become our everything.
“They are our offices, schools, nights in and nights out. But our front doors offer the best starting block to escape the four walls and improve our mental health and wellbeing.
Hello / Shwmae 👋
We got our very own Hannah Phillips to show just how easy it is to get started #FromMyDoor!
— I Run Wales (@RunWales) January 14, 2021
“It was brilliant to see so many people stepping outside their front door to run in their local area in 2020 and this year we hope to encourage even more to join in.
“All things ‘local’ are more important than ever and we have a huge community of running groups offering support 365 days a year. Whether you run it, walk it or jog it, just be a part of it and help us get Wales moving.”
From My Door hopes to encourage 500,000 people to use the only gateway to exercise to many at the moment – the front door – as the starting block to gain some fresh air, exercise and thinking time.
Whether it’s five minutes or five miles, the campaign urges people to push themselves to leave their home office, sofa or kitchen table for a few minutes a day and to get through their front door to experience the benefits of running.
Those who join in don’t have to feel alone. Run Wales hosts around 100 running clubs across the country, and there are countless independent local running clubs, groups, and challenges that offer support not just in January, but all year round.
During the 2020 lockdown, our homes have become our offices, our schools, our nights in & our nights out
Your front door is the start line to something beyond those four walls
— I Run Wales (@RunWales) January 13, 2021
Josie Rhisiart, a Run Wales Leader in Anglesey, has experienced the wide ranging benefits to be gained from running.
Rhisiart said: “Five years ago, I was struggling with my weight and mental health, but then I gave running a go.
“Fast forward to now, and you can’t stop me! Running has helped me enormously throughout lockdown and I have loved seeing people like me – those who didn’t see themselves as runners – falling in love with it.
“Even though we can’t run together at the moment, we are still motivating each other and sharing running photos, routes and stories. My advice is to start slow and be kind to yourself – you’ll be amazed at what you can do.”
Anyone can get involved by sharing their experiences and celebrating their achievements using #FromMyDoor on social media.
There will also be a virtual running event held on St David’s Day to celebrate a new nation of runners.
For more information on how to get involved with the From My Door campaign, go to: https://irun.wales/frommydoor/